Ranking the 5 Biggest Blowout Wins in Philadelphia Flyers' Playoff History
The Philadelphia Flyers have been a very successful franchise since they entered the NHL in 1967. The Flyers were the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup. The franchise also has been to the Stanley Cup Final eight different times, winning two of them.
Here is a look at the five biggest blowout wins in Flyers' playoff history. Margin of victory is the primary measuring stick, although games that involve hat tricks, shutouts or other milestones will be ranked over other games with the same margin of victory. The importance of a game can also serve as a tiebreaker, with a Game 7 being more important than a Game 2 and a Stanley Cup Final contest being more important than a game in the opening round.
Feel free to comment on any of these games or to mention one you feel belongs on this list but was omitted. As always, indicate why you feel the way you do.
5. April 14, 1979 vs. Vancouver Canucks
The Flyers met the Vancouver Canucks in the third and deciding game of their opening-round playoff series on April 14, 1979.
The Canucks surprised everybody by winning the first game of the series in Philadelphia 3-2, but the Flyers bounced back to defeat the Canucks 6-4 in Game 2 in Vancouver.
The Flyers left little doubt as to who the better team was in Game 3. Bobby Clarke scored on a power play just 4:13 into the game to give the Flyers a lead they would never relinquish. Al Hill tallied three minutes later to make it 2-0 Philadelphia.
In the second period, the Flyers struck three more times with Reggie Leach, Tom Gorence and Blake Dunlop scoring to make it 5-1 for the home team and put the game out of reach.
Bill Barber and Paul Holmgren scored in the third period to make it 7-1 Philadelphia before a late goal by the Canucks made the final score 7-2.
Barber and Holmgren each had a goal and two assists to pace the Philadelphia attack.
Robbie Moore made 29 saves to earn the win for the Flyers, who advanced to the quarterfinal round where they met the New York Rangers.
4. April 16, 1986 vs. New York Rangers
The Flyers staved off elimination in Game 4 of their Patrick Division semifinal series with the New York Rangers with a 7-1 victory at Madison Square Garden. The win sent a capacity crowd of boisterous Rangers fans home disappointed.
The Rangers actually led 1-0 on an early goal by Pierre Larouche, but then Peter Zezel took control of the contest and the Flyers scored seven unanswered goals to send the series back to Philadelphia for a fifth and deciding game.
Zezel scored twice in the first period and added another goal and an assist in the second to complete a hat trick and a four-point night. Tim Kerr scored twice and also had an assist for the Flyers.
The Flyers chased Rangers starter John Vanbiesbrouck while Bob Froese made 31 saves to earn the victory for Philadelphia.
New York won the deciding game of the series 5-2 at the Spectrum to end the Flyers' season just one day later.
3. April 20, 1976 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Injuries limited Bernie Parent to just 11 games during the 1975-76 regular season and eight games in the playoffs, but one of those playoff games was the Flyers' 7-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 5 of the quarterfinal round.
The Flyers won the first two games of the series at the Spectrum, but Toronto bounced back to even the series with a pair of wins at Maple Leaf Gardens. Game 3 in Toronto was a fight-filled, physical contest. By the end of the game, Mel Bridgman, Don Saleski and Joe Watson of the Flyers were all charged with assault by the local authorities after brawling with fans.
The Flyers pounced on the Leafs in Game 5. Saleski bounced back from his arrest and scored his only career playoff hat trick.
Reggie Leach scored twice and added an assist as the Flyers cruised to victory. Parent made 26 saves to earn one of only four playoff wins he would accumulate in the 1976 postseason.
The Flyers won the series in seven games and went on to reach the Stanley Cup Final that year for the third straight season.
2. May 16, 2010 vs. Montreal Canadiens
The Flyers opened their Eastern Conference Final series against the Montreal Canadiens with a commanding 6-0 win at home.
Michael Leighton made 28 saves to earn the shutout. Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist and finished with a plus-four rating in the game.
Braydon Coburn scored the only goal of the first period and it turned out to be the game-winner. James van Riemsdyk, Daniel Briere and Simon Gagne scored in the second period and the Flyers were up 4-0. Third-period goals by Scott Hartnell and Giroux closed out the scoring.
The Flyers won the series in five games and shut out the Canadiens three times. They went on to meet the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final.
1. May 1, 1980 vs. Minnesota North Stars
The biggest blowout in Flyers' playoff history came on May 1, 1980, when the Flyers trounced the Minnesota North Stars 7-0 in Game 2 of their semifinal series.
Minnesota scored a 6-5 win in Game 1 at the Spectrum that made Game 2 almost a must-win for the home team.
The Flyers responded by playing a nearly flawless game. The power play was 4-for-4 while Bill Barber added a shorthanded goal. Al Hill and Reggie Leach added even strength goals in the third period as Philadelphia coasted to a 7-0 win at the Spectrum.
Veteran Phil Myre made 27 saves to earn the shutout while the Flyers' killed off all seven power-play chances the North Stars had in the game.
The surprise offensive star of the game was defenseman Bob Dailey, who scored a goal and added four assists. Bill Barber scored once and added two helpers for the Flyers.
The win shifted the momentum of the series, which the Flyers went on to win in five games and advanced to the Stanley Cup Final against the New York Islanders.